Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) has completed infill and step-out drilling at the Cloud Nine Deposit, a key area of interest within the company’s 100%-owned Noombenberry Halloysite-Kaolin Project in Western Australia.
The materials stock, whose exploration portfolio includes projects across Latin America and Australia, set out on the drilling campaign to upgrade and extend the deposit’s current mineral resource estimate (MRE).
That maiden estimate was only established in May 2021, with the deposit thought to contain 123 million tonnes of bright white kaolinite and 84 million tonnes of kaolin/halloysite-bearing material.
As it waits for results from its latest aircore program, Latin has engaged an independent metallurgical consultant group to help develop a detailed process flowsheet for the Cloud Nine Deposit.
Infill and step-out drilling
Over June, Latin kicked off a second aircore campaign over Cloud Nine, aiming to extend the existing MRE a further four kilometres north, where the resource remains open, and upgrade the current 207-million-tonne resource to the indicated category.
Infill drilling comprised 207 new aircore holes and covered 6,270 metres within the current MRE on a 200-metre grid pattern.
Once results from analysis of these samples have been received, the company will re-engage with its independent resources consultant to undertake the upgraded MRE.
Results from this drilling are expected later this quarter.
Latin has also completed an additional 152 step-out aircore drill holes for 3,370 metres, immediately to the north of the existing Cloud Nine MRE.
Encouragingly, visual observations indicate the drilling encountered similar near-surface, thick zones of bright white kaolinised granite as seen within the Cloud Nine Kaolin/ Halloysite Deposit.
This drilling was completed on a wide 400-metre spaced grid, extending a full 4 kilometres to the north, and will enable Latin to potentially expand the current Cloud Nine MRE into this area.
Metallurgical test-work program
In tandem with the program’s completion, Latin has engaged BHM Process Consultants, an independent contractor with considerable experience in kaolin ore and high purity alumina (HPA) feedstock analysis, to help develop a detailed process flowsheet for the Cloud Nine Deposit.
Latin has collected bulk metallurgical samples from separate zones at Cloud Nine, which represent the deposit’s ultrabright white kaolin material and the high-grade halloysite-bearing material.
Test-work is set to commence once the final process flowsheet has been developed and will provide detailed mineralogical and metallurgical inputs for upcoming pre-feasibility studies.
Ultimately, Latin hopes the test work will de-risk and better its understanding of Cloud Nine’s mineralogy.
In turn, the explorer can investigate the resource’s potential within the greenhouse gas and carbon capture applications, hydrogen storage and HPA feedstock verticals.
Latin is in discussion with a number of specialised consultants to investigate the potential for downstream supply of the high-grade halloysite in some of these emerging new environmental applications.
Additional tenements granted
Outside the Cloud Nine Deposit, Latin has added 359 square kilometres to its Noombenberry portfolio through four additional tenements.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety granted the new tenements, bringing the exploration asset’s total project area to 566 square kilometres.
Latin has since turned its attention to a regional campaign at the wholly-owned asset in a bid to highlight priority focus areas for ongoing exploration.
The company has already identified two separate sites within the newly granted tenements, while reconnaissance sampling has uncovered additional ultra-bright white and high-grade halloysite-bearing material up to 14 kilometres to the northeast.